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楼主:ask新闻 时间:2019年06月20日 17:47:09 点击:0 回复:0
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Masayoshi Son, the billionaire founder of the telecommunications group SoftBank and perhaps Japan’s most successful example of an American-style entrepreneur, has made a career out of beating the odds. He casts himself in the mould of his hero, Soichiro Honda, an outsider who began making motors for bicycles and ended up building one of the world’s leading car manufacturers. Mr Son loves to recall how Honda defied Japan’s state planners, who wanted to restrict carmakers to a few national champions such as Toyota. Honda had to take on the establishment as well as his competitors.身为亿万富翁,电信集团软银(Softbank)的创始人孙正义(Masayoshi Son)是经过艰苦奋斗成就一番事业的,他或许也是全日本最成功的“美式企业家”。孙正义崇拜本田宗一郎(Soichiro Honda),视他为榜样。本田宗一郎从制造自行车的马达起家,最终打造起了一家全球领先的汽车制造商。孙正义喜欢回顾本田宗一郎是如何对抗日本的国家规划者的。政府当局原本只想让丰田(Toyota)等少数几家全国性龙头汽车企业得到发展,本田宗一郎不得不同时应对当局和竞争对手。Like Honda, Mr Son is a disrupter. He once playfully threatened to torch regulators’ headquarters if he did not have his way. He did (have his way, that is, not set the communications ministry ablaze). After acquiring Vodafone’s Japanese arm in 2006, he threw Japan’s staid telecoms monopoly into turmoil – much to the benefit of consumers.与本田宗一郎一样,孙正义是一个“搅局者”。他曾经开玩笑说,如果他达不到目的,就放火烧掉监管机构的总部大楼。他最终达到了目的(也就没有一把火烧了交通部)。2006年收购沃达丰(Vodafone)日本子公司以后,他打破了日本电信业一潭死水的垄断局面,其结果对消费者是很有利的。SoftBank started a price war. It also introduced new services and products, including Apple’s iPhone, which years before anyone else Mr Son realised would upend Japan’s sophisticated but isolated market.软银发起了价格战,并引入了新的务和产品,包括苹果公司(Apple)的iPhone。孙正义比所有人提前许多年意识到,iPhone将颠覆日本较为高端但封闭的电信市场。As an investor too, Mr Son has had moments of inspiration. Among the duds for which he has paid outlandish sums are some veritable gems. Most dazzling was his m punt 14 years ago on Alibaba, the Chinese ecommerce giant that was then just a twinkle in Jack Ma’s eye. SoftBank today finds itself with a 37 per cent stake in a company whose initial public offering later this year could value it at 0bn or more.孙正义还是一位投资家,时不时会迸发灵感。在他那些出资金额听起来离谱的投资中,有一些是真正的宝石。最令人叫绝的是14年前他拿出2000万美元投资阿里巴巴(Alibaba)的事例,当时马云还只有初步想法,如今阿里巴巴已发展成中国电商巨头。现在软银持有阿里巴巴37%的股权,而后者今年晚些时候上市后,市值可能达到1300亿美元以上。Now Mr Son is at it again, entangled in perhaps the biggest gamble of his life. He is taking on America. Last year SoftBank paid bn for a majority stake in Sprint, the third-largest US mobile provider. The aim is to “do a Vodafone” by using an also-ran carrier as a vehicle to disrupt an entire sector. This month, though, those plans ran into trouble. In the face of intractable opposition from US regulators, SoftBank withdrew its plan to combine with T-Mobile, the fourth-biggest carrier, a merger that was central to its strategy.现在孙正义再次出手,而且这或许将是他毕生中最大的。他要进军美国市场。去年软银以220亿美元收购了美国第三大移动通信运营商Sprint的多数股权。其目标是“打造一个沃达丰”,即利用一家并非顶尖的运营商来搅动美国整个移动通信行业。然而,这项计划在本月出了岔子。由于美国监管机构坚决反对,软银取消了与美国第四大运营商T-Mobile合并的计划,而这次合并对其战略至为关键。Mr Son is not giving up. He has appointed a new Sprint chief executive, Marcelo Claure to try to reverse the haemorrhaging of Sprint customers, hundreds of thousands of whom have defected in the past year.孙正义没有放弃。他任命马塞洛#8226;克劳尔(Marcelo Claure)为Sprint新首席执行官,以期扭转该公司用户大量流失的局面——在过去一年里流失了几十万用户。This week the contours of a new strategy began to emerge. Together with the Japanese company Sharp, SoftBank has developed a near-frameless cheap smartphone. Sprint will offer the Aquos Crystal handset with 100 free pre-installed apps, along with contracts allowing unlimited downloads. To underline Mr Son’s global ambitions, in July SoftBank poached Nikesh Arora, Google’s head of business operations, as group vice-chairman and chief executive of a US-based unit aimed at executing his disruptive strategy.一项新战略在上周开始显形。软银和日本夏普公司(Sharp)联手,开发出了一款近乎无边框的低端智能手机。Sprint将为Aquos Crystal提供100款预装的免费应用,以及允许无限量下载的合约。今年7月,软银挖来谷歌(Google)负责商业运营的尼克什#8226;阿罗拉(Nikesh Arora),请其出任集团副总裁兼美国某子公司的首席执行官,旨在执行其颠覆战略——孙正义的全球抱负从中可见一斑。There is a lot riding on Mr Son’s US adventure, and not only for SoftBank. Japanese manufacturers have a strong, if fading, record of challenging competitors on their own turf. Non-manufacturers have not fared so well. Nomura’s bold attempt to turn itself into a global investment bank failed. Efforts by pharma groups to expand abroad, including Daiichi Sankyo’s disastrous .7bn acquisition of Ranbaxy, an Indian generics maker, have not inspired confidence. Mr Son could do wonders by pulling off a victory.孙正义进军美国市场的成败至关重要,这不仅仅是对软银而言。日本制造企业在挑战竞争对手方面战绩斐然(现在可能稍为逊色)。非制造业企业则表现不是那么好。野村券(Nomura)转变为全球投行的大胆计划失败了。日本制药集团海外扩张的努力——包括第一三共株式会社(Daiichi Sankyo)以47亿美元灾难性地收购印度仿制药生产商Ranbaxy——也没有带给人鼓舞。如果孙正义在美国市场取得成功,他将创造一个奇迹。On the face of it, his US challenge looks similar to the one SoftBank undertook in Japan. Sprint is a David taking on two Goliaths, or Verizon and ATamp;T as they are known in the US. Both have roughly twice the number of Sprint’s subscribers. Like Japan-before-SoftBank, US mobile prices are high and speeds relatively slow. At a recent technology conference, Mr Son joked that foreigners’ experience of US internet services led them to wonder: “Oh my God, how can Americans live like this?”表面看来,孙正义在美国遇到的挑战,与软银在日本经历过的挑战颇为相似。Sprint好比与两个巨人对抗的大卫——Verizon和美国电报电话公司(ATamp;T)。这两家公司的用户数量都是Sprint的两倍左右。与软银出现之前的日本一样,美国移动通信不只资费高昂,而且速度相对缓慢。在最近的一次科技会议上,孙正义开玩笑地说道,外国人在体验过美国的互联网务之后会说:“天啊,美国人怎么会过这样的生活?”In truth, though, the US will be a much tougher nut to crack. Not only are Verizon and ATamp;T dominant, they have access to more spectrum than Sprint is ever likely to grasp. In Japan SoftBank was able to outflank competitors by simultaneously building an acceptable network and offering cheaper tariffs. In the US, although Sprint is making valiant efforts to upgrade its patchy network, it will be hard to catch the two market leaders. They have better coverage and ample cash flow with which to fund investment. If anything, T-Mobile, which has been gaining subscribers faster than Sprint has been losing them, looks like the successful upstart. “Sprint has a mountain to climb,” says Benedict Evans, a partner at the venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz.然而,进军美国市场实际上要困难得多。Verizon和ATamp;T不仅在市场上占据主导地位,而且它们可以利用的频谱远广于Sprint。在日本,软银能够通过铺设让用户满意的网络和提供更便宜的资费来阻击竞争对手。而在美国,尽管Sprint在竭尽全力对自身不完善的网络进行升级,但要赶上那两个市场领军者还是非常困难的,后者的网络覆盖范围更广,而且有充足的现金流可以进行投资。如果说有什么区别的话,T-Mobile看起来是成功的新贵,它赢得用户的速度超过Sprint流失用户的速度。风险投资公司Andreessen Horowitz的合伙人班尼迪克#8226;埃文斯(Benedict Evans)表示:“Sprint面临着严峻的挑战。”Mr Son has taken knocks before. In the dotcom crash of the late 1990s, SoftBank’s shares lost most of their value and Mr Son is said to have suffered a paper loss of bn. That would have bankrupted most billionaires many times over, but not Mr Son. Time and again he has come back from the dead. “Nothing stops him,” says one telecoms analyst. “There’s no such thing as impossible for this guy.”孙正义以前受过挫折。上世纪90年代末,在互联网泡沫破灭期间,软银的绝大部分市值都蒸发掉了,据说孙正义个人的账面损失达到700亿美元。大多数亿万富翁要是损失这么大,都够破产好几次了,但孙正义没有。他一次又一次地东山再起。一位电信业的分析师表示:“任何事都阻止不了他,对他来说,没有什么是不可能的。”Nevertheless, even Mr Son concedes that, without T-Mobile, Sprint cannot muster the firepower to take on the industry leaders over the long haul. Before the deal was scuppered by regulators, he said that, without T-Mobile, Sprint lacked the scale for anything but a “pseudo fight”. Certainly, he has every chance of improving Sprint’s poor performance through innovation and network improvement. But to really shake the US market as he shook the Japanese one will take a change of heart from regulators. And they may be flame-proof.然而孙正义自己也承认,如果没有T-Mobile,Sprint无法长期集中火力挑战行业中的领军者。在监管机构否决这项并购交易之前,孙正义曾表示,如果没有T-Mobile,Sprint只能打一场“伪战斗”。当然,他完全有可能通过创新和改善网络来提升Sprint的糟糕业绩。但是,要像撼动日本市场那样真正撼动美国市场,除非让监管机构改变主意——这些监管机构可能不怕火。 /201408/324415When the thin man in the silver-coloured windbreaker walks on to the stage, a roar goes through the crowd. Then he starts singing: “Friends, we have walked together all our lives, but those days are over,” and the audience goes crazy.那个身穿银色风衣的瘦削男子走上舞台时,人群发出一阵轰鸣。接着,这个男子开始演唱:“朋友一生一起走,那些日子不再有,”观众的兴奋情绪达到极点。But this is not a pop concert. The 40,000 people in the Yellow Dragon Stadium in Hangzhou on Friday night were Alibaba Group employees and their family, and the man on stage was Jack Ma, saying farewell to the business he founded that has now grown into one of the world’s largest ecommerce companies.但是,这并不是一场流行音乐会。上周五晚聚集在杭州黄龙体育馆的这4万人,是阿里巴巴集团(Alibaba Group)的雇员及其家人,而台上那人是正在告别该集团的马云(Jack Ma),他创立的这家企业已发展壮大,成为全球最大电子商务公司之一。At 48, Mr Ma has handed the job of chief executive to Jonathan Lu, his trusted lieutenant and 13-year Alibaba veteran, and gone into semi-retirement as executive chairman.现年48岁的马云将首席执行官的职位交给自己的亲信、为阿里巴巴效力13年的公司元老陆兆禧(Jonathan Lu),自己继续担任执行董事长,由此进入半退休状态。The change at the top comes as the group is preparing what could become one of the largest-ever internet initial public offerings. A listing in the US, expected at the end of this year or in early 2014, would allow Alibaba to buy back up to half of Yahoo’s 24 per cent stake in itself and raise bn or more from public investors.高层换人之际,阿里巴巴集团正准备进行首次公开发行(IPO),这可能成为史上规模最大的互联网企业IPO之一。预计该集团将在今年底或2014年初在美国上市,使其能够购回雅虎(Yahoo)所持其24%股份的至多一半,并从公开市场投资者那里募资至少600亿美元。Mr Lu inherits a formidable business. Alibaba operates the world’s largest online marketplace for trade between companies. It has also built an unrivalled online retail platform in China. Taobao.com, the group’s eBay-like consumer-to-consumer website, accounts for 90 per cent of China’s online retail transaction value in this segment.陆兆禧继承了一家令人敬畏的企业。阿里巴巴集团运营着世界上最大的企业对企业(B2B)在线交易市场。它还打造了中国首屈一指的在线零售平台。淘宝网(Taobao.com)是阿里巴巴集团旗下类似于eBay的消费者对消费者(C2C)网站,在该板块占有中国在线零售交易价值的90%。TMall, its business-to-consumer platform, accounts for half of online business-to-consumer sales in China by transaction value, according to McKinsey.麦肯锡(McKinsey)数据显示,阿里巴巴集团旗下的企业对消费者(B2C)平台天猫(TMall),按交易价值计算占中国在线B2C销售的一半。“The market share concentration and power they have is unique – you don’t have that in any other market in the world,” says Zia Daniell Wigder, an ecommerce analyst at Forrester Research in New York.“他们拥有的市场份额集中度和实力是独一无二的——你在世界上其他任何市场找不到这样的例子,”纽约Forrester Research电子商务分析师齐娅#8226;丹尼尔#8226;维杰(Zia Daniell Wigder)表示。That market power was reflected in Alibaba’s most recent results. Revenues rose by 80 per cent year on year to .84bn in the final quarter of 2012, and net profit surged by 156 per cent to 0m, according to a Yahoo filing last week.这种市场实力反映在阿里巴巴集团的最新业绩上。雅虎最近提交的监管申报文件显示,2012年末季阿里巴巴集团营收同比增长80%,至18.4亿美元,净利润同比飙升156%,至6.50亿美元。But the big question is where Alibaba can go from here.但是,真正的问题在于阿里巴巴下一步能走向何方。Other players are challenging its dominant position in its home market. They include 360buy, which accounted for almost a fifth of China’s online retail transaction value in 2012 according to iResearch, and Suning, an electronics retailer with a massive bricks-and-mortar presence that is now aggressively expanding online and branching out into other products.在本土市场,竞争对手正在叫板该集团的霸主地位。这些竞争对手包括京东商城(360buy)——艾瑞咨询(iResearch)的数据显示,2012年京东占有中国在线零售交易价值的近五分之一;另外还有苏宁(Suning)——拥有庞大实体店网络的电子产品零售商,目前正积极向网上业务拓展,并涉足其他产品的销售。Although Alibaba dismisses the idea that it is under threat, it is looking far ahead to defend its turf. The company has launched its own mobile operating system to build a closer relationship with consumers, as they start shopping increasingly on mobile devices.虽然阿里巴巴集团否认自己面临威胁,但该集团为了守住自己的地盘正把目光投向未来。它已推出自己的移动操作系统,以求与消费者打造更紧密的关系。目前中国消费者日趋使用移动设备购物。Taking a page out of Amazon’s playbook, Alibaba is also rapidly expanding its cloud computing business.阿里巴巴集团借鉴亚马逊(Amazon)的战略,也在快速扩张其云计算业务。By the end of this year, the company expects half of the bandwidth used for its cloud operations to be serving outside customers, according to Wang Jian, head of the unit. “Eventually, our target is to have 5 per cent of all computing power in China by the number of servers shipped,” he says.据阿里云计算总裁王坚介绍,该公司预计,到今年底,其云计算业务所用带宽的一半将是为外部客户务。他表示:“最终,我们的目标是按照发运的务器数量计,拥有中国全部计算能力的5%。”Alibaba is also on the acquisition path. On Friday, it agreed to acquire a 28 per cent stake in Autonavi, the company behind China’s most successful mobile map app. Through the investment, Alibaba hopes to expand its mobile commerce capabilities, for example to be able to show the physical location of vendors on Juhuasuan, its Groupon-like daily deals site, or Taobao, the consumer-to-consumer platform.阿里巴巴集团还踏上了收购的道路。上周五,该集团同意收购高德(Autonavi) 28%股份,后者是中国最成功的移动地图应用的开发商。阿里巴巴集团希望借助这项投资扩大自己的移动商务能力,例如显示集团旗下类Groupon团购网站“聚划算”或C2C平台淘宝网上商家的实际地理位置。Only 10 days earlier, Alibaba agreed to buy an 18 per cent stake in Sina Weibo, China’s largest Twitter equivalent. The tie-up will allow Alibaba to make the ads that are a major source of its revenue much more targeted.最近,阿里巴巴集团还同意收购中国最大微网站新浪微(Sina Weibo) 18%股份。这一结盟将使该集团得以大幅提高广告的针对性;广告是该集团的一大营收来源。Alibaba executives say a few more deals like this are to come, as the company continues to build an ecosystem around ecommerce. “We are acquiring the capabilities to provide and crunch the data needed for that,” says Mr Wang. “The traditional economy was centred on industry, powered by electricity. In the new economy, we will provide the equivalent to electricity.”阿里巴巴集团高管表示,随着集团继续围绕电子商务打造一个生态系统,未来还会有几笔类似的交易。“为此,我们正在获取必要的数据提供与处理能力。”王坚表示,“传统经济以工业为核心,由电力驱动。在新经济中,我们将提供等同于电力的东西。”But what unsettles outsiders more is the question whether Alibaba will take its ecommerce machine global. In 2004, just a year after its establishment, Taobao had aly surpassed eBay in China – a development that eventually ruined the US company’s retail business in that market.但是,令外界更加不安的问题是,阿里巴巴集团会否让自己的电子商务机器走向全球?2004年,开通仅一年的淘宝网就已超越了eBay的在华业务——这一发展最终毁掉了eBay这家美国公司在中国市场的零售业务。“The question is whether [Alibaba] will be able to replicate their success outside China,” says Ms Wigder.“问题在于,(阿里巴巴集团)能不能在中国以外复制自己的成功,”维杰表示。The industry is alight with speculation that Alibaba could launch an attack on global rivals such as eBay and Amazon, by helping Chinese sellers ship fast, and cheaply, to developed markets. Industry executives and analysts say Alibaba is considering investment in “offshore” warehouses outside of Europe and the US to make this happen.业内有很多猜测称,阿里巴巴集团可能会向全球竞争对手eBay和亚马逊发起攻击,帮助中国卖家快速而廉价地向发达市场发货。业内高管和分析师称,阿里巴巴集团正考虑向欧美以外的“离岸”仓库投资,使其成为现实。John Spelich, Alibaba spokesman, says he has not heard of such plans.阿里巴巴集团发言人约翰#8226;斯佩里奇(John Spelich)表示,他尚未听说有此类计划。But Wang Tingting, an analyst at iResearch, says the company “will definitely make that move eventually”. Shi Tao, a vice-president at Alibaba’s rival 360buy, which recently started an international business, says that keeping products in bulk in “offshore” warehouses and shipping them into developed markets piecemeal can lower costs, since lower import duties apply to shipments under ∈20 apiece.但艾瑞咨询分析师王婷婷表示,该集团“最终肯定会做出此举”。竞争对手京东最近启动了一项国际业务。京东副总裁石涛表示,把产品成批地储存于“离岸”仓库,然后零零碎碎地发往发达市场,能够降低成本,因为不到20欧元的包裹所适用的进口关税更低。No matter if Alibaba eventually moves in this direction, the company has started globalisation plans. Last year, it set up a dedicated team to explore taking Taobao global. “At the moment, we focus on Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore and Malaysia,” says Daphne Lee, head of Taobao International. She says the company is taking things step by step and is now trying to forge logistics and payment partnerships.无论阿里巴巴集团最终是否走上这条道路,该集团都已启动全球化计划。去年它成立了一个专职团队,由其探索让淘宝网全球化的可能性。“目前我们聚焦于香港、台湾、新加坡和马来西亚,”淘宝国际(Taobao International)业务主管李芃君(Daphne Lee)说。她表示,公司正在步步为营地推进,目前在试图打造物流和付方面的合作伙伴关系。The demand is clearly there – 280,000 users from Singapore alone registered on Taobao last year, although demand can often present surprises. Consumers from tropical Singapore “are buying down jackets – they need them for overseas trips and can barely find them at home”, says Ms Lee.需求显然是存在的——去年仅新加坡一个地方就有28万用户在淘宝网注册——尽管需求常常会出人意料。据李芃君介绍,地处热带的新加坡的消费者热衷“购买羽绒——他们需要在出国旅行时穿这种衣,而在国内市场根本找不到”。 /201305/239596To celebrate selling 10m copies of its computer game Mine#173;craft, Swedish start-up Mojang decided to treat all its workers to a surprise trip last year.去年,为庆祝电脑游戏《我的世界》(Minecraft)销量达到1000万份,瑞典初创企业Mojang决定,为所有员工奉上一份惊喜之旅。After breakfast at its Stockholm headquarters, employees were whisk#173;ed off in limousines, private jets and a fleet of Ferrari and Lamborghini super cars to Monte Carlo. Two days of partying ensued involving casinos, helicopter trips to restaurants and dancing on a yacht with Norwegian group R#246;yskopp as a DJ set.早饭后,员工们就从斯德哥尔总部出发,先乘坐豪华轿车、然后换乘私人飞机、最后登上一长溜法拉利(Ferrari)和兰基尼(Lamborghini)超跑,来到了蒙特卡洛。接下来是连续两天的狂欢:游,乘直升机去餐馆赴宴,在游艇上参加舞会,舞会的唱片骑师(DJ)是挪威组合R#246;yskopp。This year, it plumped for just a boozy ferry trip across the Baltic. Not that Mojang has had a bad year: Minecraft, a sort of digital version of Lego in which players use blocks to build a virtual world, helped bring in SKr2.1bn in revenues (up 38 per cent on the previous year) and SKr816m of profit in 2013.今年,公司旅游缩水为一次波罗的海渡轮酒会之旅。这并不是因为Mojang去年效益不佳。事实上,它那款让玩家能用方块构建虚拟世界的数字版乐高(Lego)游戏《我的世界》,在2013年实现了21亿瑞典克朗的收入(比上一年增长38%)和8.16亿瑞典克朗的利润。Carl Manneh, Mojang’s chief executive, says: “This year we wanted to do something completely different and this is something most Swedes – at least from Stockholm – do when they are young and stupid.”Mojang首席执行官卡尔#8226;曼内(Carl Manneh)说:“今年我们曾想做些完全不同的东西,而现在这个东西是大多数瑞典人——至少是斯德哥尔人——年轻不懂事的时候玩的。”Since it was created five years ago, Minecraft has become a technology phenomenon and one of the biggest-selling games in history. By the end of June it had sold about 54m copies, a figure that is rising all the time – in 24 hours at the start of this week, 18,537 people handed over 20 or the equivalent for a PC copy.自5年前问世至今,《我的世界》已成为科技界的一个奇迹,也成为了史上卖得最好的一款游戏。截至今年6月,这款游戏已累计售出约5400万份,并且这个数字还在继续增加。仅不久前那个周一的一天时间里,就有18537名用户购买了这款单价合20欧元的电脑游戏。Minecraft’s success is all the more remarkable for what it lacks: the graphics are blocky and unsophisticated, it has few characters and not much of a plot. Instead, players set about building just about any kind of virtual world they can imagine: creations include entire cities, sets from films, space shuttles and even a replica model of Denmark.鉴于《我的世界》是一款像素方块视觉效果、画风粗糙的游戏,也没有多少人物和情节,它的成功就更加令人惊叹。在这款游戏中,玩家可按照自己的想象构建任何种类的虚拟世界,包括整座城市、影片场景、太空船,甚至是丹麦的复制版。Mojang’s approach to business has also been different. It has taken no outside investment, rebuffing numerous venture capitalists and other would-be backers that include Napster founder Sean Parker. Minecraft has become wildly successful on smartphones and tablets despite eschewing the dominant free-to-play – “freemium” – model of games such as Candy Crush Saga and Clash of Clans.Mojang的经营方式也跟别的公司不一样。它不接受外部投资,回绝了无数风险投资家和其他潜在投资者,其中包括Napster创始人肖恩#8226;帕克(Sean Parker)。尽管《我的世界》没有像《糖果粉碎传奇》(Candy Crush Saga)和《部落战争》(Clash of Clans)等游戏那样采取主流的“免费+增值务”(freemium)模式,但它在智能手机和平板电脑上依然大获成功。It also has Mr Manneh as chief executive rather than its co-founders, Mar#173;kus Persson – creator of Minecraft, better known as “Notch” – and Jakob Porser. Messrs Persson and Porser wanted to concentrate on making games and so approached Mr Manneh, Mr Persson’s former boss at another Swedish start-up, to run and develop the business itself.Mojang的首席执行官也不是它的两位联合创始人马库斯#8226;佩尔松(Mar#173;kus Persson)和雅各布#8226;波尔塞(Jakob Porser),而是佩尔松在另一家瑞典初创企业的前上司曼内。佩尔松和波尔塞希望集中精力制作游戏,因此就把曼内从那家初创企业挖来,负责管理和开拓Mojang的业务。佩尔松是《我的世界》的创作者,大家更喜欢叫他“诺奇”(Notch)。“A lot of indie game developers are trying to do everything themselves – they’re game developers, marketers, CEO and all of the ‘hats’ that basically take time away from what they’re really talented at,” Mr Manneh says. In open-necked shirt with sleeves rolled up, he is sitting in a leather chair in a room that not only has a pool table, pinball table and jukebox but a wall covered in gilt-framed, old-fashioned portraits of the first 20 or so Mojang employees in different guises. Mr Manneh is portrayed as a golf player.“许多独立游戏开发者试图自己打理一切,他们既要开发游戏,又要负责营销,还兼任首席执行官,顶着各种‘头衔’,根本没时间做自己真正擅长的事情,”穿着开领衬衫、袖口卷起的曼内坐在一间屋子里的皮椅上说。这间屋子里不仅有台球桌、弹珠台和自动点唱机,它的墙上还挂满了镶着金框的老式画像,画的是Mojang最初的20来位员工,每个人都装扮成不同的身份。曼内在他那张画像上,是高尔夫球手的装扮。The three men are the sole owners of Mojang and Mr Persson remains chairman but keeps his distance from his CEO. “In operational areas, he’s very good at letting go and letting people handle it, [people] who are more interested and experienced in those areas,” Mr Manneh says.Mojang完全归这三人所有,佩尔松还保留着董事长的头衔,但尽量不干预首席执行官的工作。曼内说:“在经营方面,他很善于放权,让对这些事情更感兴趣也更有经验的人去处理。”Not that Mr Persson does not create mischief for his CEO. An active blogger and presence on Twitter, he created a stir in 2011 when he announced he had sold Mojang to Mr Parker, only to say later it was an April Fool’s joke. Earlier this year, Mr Persson tweeted that there would be a Minecraft movie from Warner Bros – the studio that developed The Lego Movie – leading to a deluge of calls to an unsuspecting Mr Manneh. (Nearly all Mojang’s 37 employees are on Twitter and they post much of what they are up to every day.)这并不是说佩尔松不会给他的首席执行官添乱。佩尔松经常写客、在Twitter上发帖子。2011年,他宣布已将Mojang卖给帕克,引起轩然,后来才告诉大家那是个愚人节的玩笑。今年早些时候,佩尔松在Twitter上说,华纳兄弟(Warner Bros)要拍一部关于《我的世界》的电影,结果毫不知情的曼内电话都快被打爆了。华纳兄弟拍过《乐高大电影》(Lego Movie)。(Mojang的37名员工几乎全都上Twitter,每天都在上面直播自己在做的事情。)The two men’s relationship dates back to 2009 when Mr Manneh was CEO of JAlbum, a photo-sharing website where Mr Persson worked. In his spare time Mr Persson developed Minecraft and within a few months it was making nearly as much money as JAlbum, which had more than 1m users.佩尔松和曼内两人的关系可追溯到2009年,当时曼内是照片分享网站JAlbum的首席执行官,而佩尔松当时在那家网站工作。佩尔松利用业余时间开发了《我的世界》,几个月后这款游戏创造的收入就快赶上有逾100万用户的JAlbum了。Eventually Mr Persson quit JAlbum to found an independent games studio with Mr Porser, a fellow game developer. The plan was to develop other games but instead Minecraft became a bigger success than anybody imagined. “It was fun to build the blocks but I couldn’t really see the potential,” admits Mr Manneh, his voice trailing off. However, it was soon clear that Minecraft alone was making more than JAlbum.后来佩尔松从JAlbum辞职,跟同为游戏开发者的波尔塞一起创办了一家独立的游戏制作公司。他们原来的计划是再开发一些别的游戏,可《我的世界》火得超乎任何人的想象。曼内不好意思地承认:“搭积木很有趣,但我当时真的没能认识到它的潜力。”然而,情况很快就明朗了:单是《我的世界》,赚的钱就超过了JAlbum。Now, Mr Manneh says, his role is to act as a “big filter”, adding: “The most common word I say is ‘no’.”曼内说,如今他扮演的角色是一个“大过滤器”,他还说,“我说的最多的一个词就是‘不’”。Some games companies that enjoy big success have looked to cash in as much as possible – such as Finland’s Rovio, which has licensed Angry Birds to brands from soft drinks to fishing rods. Mojang has taken a lower-key ap#173;proach. Perhaps its most high-profile partnership is the most obvious one: Lego. Minecraft is widely seen as the game the Danish toymaker should have made in its attempt to conquer the digital world but its own plan, Lego Universe, flopped.一些游戏公司大获成功后都考虑尽可能地将名气变现,比如开发《愤怒的小鸟》(Angry Birds)的芬兰公司Rovio就将游戏形象授权给了从软饮料到鱼竿等各种品牌。Mojang则采取了较为低调的方式。它最知名的合作伙伴或许就是最显而易见应该跟它合作的那一个:丹麦玩具制造商乐高。人们普遍认为,乐高在征数字世界时原本应该制作出《我的世界》这样的游戏,但乐高自己的开发计划,即《乐高宇宙》(Lego Universe),却没有取得成功。Instead, the privately owned toymaker is now collaborating with the Swedish start-up on a second batch of Minecraft sets, due in a few months. In a striking reversal, Mojang executives even think the small newcomer can take children back to the original spirit of Lego.现在,这家未上市的玩具制造商正与Mojang合作,制作《我的世界》的第二批场景,预计将在几个月后问世。Mojang的高管甚至认为,有意思的是,规模不大、历史也不长的Mojang反而能让孩子们重新领会乐高最初的精神。Vu Bui, Mojang’s chief operating officer, says most Lego sets these days offer “a perfect picture of something that you want to build, and then it’s done”. By contrast, the Minecraft sets will encourage people to tear them apart and rebuild. “I know that at Lego part of its culture is to want people to remember they can rebuild things,” he adds.Mojang首席运营官乌#8226;布伊(Vu Bui)表示,如今,大多数乐高场景会提供“你想建的某种东西的完美图景,然后你就把它建成了”。《我的世界》的场景则不同,它鼓励人们将场景拆掉、然后重建。他补充说:“我知道,乐高的部分文化就是,希望人们记住自己有重建的能力。”Mojang remains dependent on one product but Minecraft’s continuing success has dulled questions about developing other games. Mr Porser developed Scrolls, a cross between a board game and collectible cards, but it has failed to come near the success of Minecraft.Mojang仍然只依赖一款产品,不过《我的世界》的持续成功,让开发其他游戏的任务显得不那么紧迫了。波尔塞开发了一款介于棋牌游戏和可搜集卡片游戏(collectible cards game)之间的游戏《Scrolls》,但这款游戏远不如《我的世界》成功。The pressure has been tougher on Mr Persson to follow up Minecraft. He announced plans in 2012 to launch a game called 0x10c but soon shelved it. Instead his first post-Minecraft game was the release in June of the throw#173;away Cliffhorse, knocked out in a few hours, according to Mr Persson’s tweets.佩尔松一直面临很大压力,要推出一款新的游戏。2012年,他曾宣布要推出一款名为《0x10c》的游戏,但很快就搁置了那个计划。直到今年6月,他才推出了《我的世界》之后的第一款游戏——颇显粗糙的《Cliffhorse》。佩尔松在Twitter上说,他只花了几个小时就鼓捣出了这个游戏。Mr Manneh is unfazed by the lack of a follow-up, explaining that Minecraft continues both to grow and to be improved. “In a way we’re following Minecraft up by iterating Minecraft and that’s the nice thing about it – it’s ever-evolving,” he says.曼内倒不担心没有新产品的问题,他解释说,《我的世界》还在发展、还在改进。他说:“重复《我的世界》也是我们为《我的世界》寻找接替者的一种方式。这款游戏的魅力在于,它在不断演进。” /201409/327729Tencent, Asia’s most valuable listed technology company, said new Chinese government regulations aimed at limiting chat applications would not hurt its business model, which depends overwhelmingly on drawing users of its popular QQ and WeChat instant messaging apps.亚洲市值最高的上市科技公司腾讯(Tencent)表示,中国政府旨在限制聊天应用的新规不会影响其商业模式,这种模式极度依赖吸引其广受欢迎的即时通讯应用QQ和微信(WeChat)的用户。During a conference call on Wednesday following the publication of quarterly earnings, Martin Lau, Tencent’s president, said the requirement for users to register under their full names would not present a huge hurdle for many who aly provide their mobile phone numbers in order to register.在周三发布季度财报后举行的电话会议上,腾讯总裁刘炽平(Martin Lau)说,对于许多已经用手机号注册的用户来说,实名制要求并不会造成很大的障碍。“The requirement that users use their real names is aly there” because they have to register their mobile phones, he said他表示,由于用户需要用手机号注册,“对于用户使用真名的要求已经存在”。He said other regulations pertained exclusively to public accounts, or blogs, which are henceforth required to refrain from publishing “news” without a specific permission to do so. He said the public accounts were a minor part of WeChat’s user base, adding that the regulations are “not a big negative”.刘炽平表示,其他规定只适用公众账号(即客)。今后公众账号需要特定的许可才可以发布“新闻”。他说,公众账号只占微信用户群的一小部分,并补充称,新规“负面影响不大”。Tencent dominates instant messaging in China, which is growing rapidly as smartphones become cheaper and more ubiquitous. WeChat and QQ together have more than 1bn registered users.腾讯主导着中国即时通讯务。随着智能手机变得更加便宜和普遍,中国的即时通讯务正在飞速发展。微信和QQ的注册用户总量超过了10亿人。The company on Wednesday posted quarterly earnings that beat analyst estimates as net income for the second quarter rose 59 per cent year on year to Rmb5.84bn (9m), slightly above analyst estimates of Rmb5.73bn. Revenue climbed 37 per cent to Rmb19.75bn.腾讯在周三发布的季度盈利超过了分析师预期,第二季度净利润同比增长59%,至58.4亿元人民币(合9.49亿美元),略微超过了之前分析师估计的57.3亿元人民币。营收则攀升37%,至197.5亿元人民币。 /201408/321205GM's challenge - Survive and save DetroitNo city in America has been more entwined with the fortunes of a single industry as Detroit with autos. The nicknames "Motor City" and "Motown," coined years ago, have stuck for good reason. Most of the industry pioneers -- names like Wayne and Hupp, Packard and Maxwell -- have long since disappeared, and foreign automakers are expanding not in Michigan but farther south. Yet Detroit remains the home of the Big Three. In Detroit, GM is the biggest game in town. Even after Chrysler fled to a northern suburb and Ford (F, Fortune 500) retreated to its Dearborn, Mich., campus, GM doubled down on the city. In the mid-1990s it moved its headquarters to the city's most prominent landmark on the Detroit River, known appropriately as the Renaissance Center. After the investment of several hundred million dollars, GM's headquarters has become the centerpiece of the city's efforts to revive its downtown and develop its riverfront. General Motors and Fortune have grown up together too. As Time Inc. founder Henry Luce was creating the modern business magazine at the end of the 1920s, GM was passing Ford to become the world's largest automaker. In 1930, when -- Depression be damned -- Luce launched Fortune, GM showed its grit by introducing the first Cadillac with a 16-cylinder engine. When GM's legendary CEO Alfred P. Sloan published his landmark memoir, "My Years With General Motors," in 1963, the title page bore the name of his collaborator, a Fortune editor named John McDonald. With this issue, Fortune commences its contribution to Time Inc.'s "Assignment Detroit" series with a look at two sides of GM: its management under the new leadership of president and CEO Fritz Henderson, and its manufacturing, as seen in the Poletown plant, one of two factories still assembling cars within the Detroit city limits. Poletown, symbol of decades of strategic misdirection, represents the actions of an arrogant company that still believed, long after it had any reason to, that what was good for GM was good for the city of Detroit and the country. Henderson's strategy for GM is simple: to focus on the car business again. Past CEOs were distracted by corporate debt and legacy costs, work rules, and franchise laws. Now those concerns have been mostly eliminated, stripped out during the bankruptcy process, and Henderson can apply his energy where it is most needed. Henderson will be finding out what customers think by going out and talking to them, forcing his executive team to pay more attention to the competition, and applying more intellectual and financial capital to the creation of new products. Board chairman Ed Whitacre has given him his orders: GM needs to generate more revenue and more profit. There is no question where the buck stops. Now that GM has decided to focus on four brands -- Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick, and GMC -- Henderson's challenge is to persuade customers to take a look at them. The new model to watch next year won't be the overpriced Chevy Volt but a small car called the Chevy Cruze. Since the 1960s GM has failed to build a small car that could compete with foreign brands. If it can't compete with the Cruze, it might as well throw in the towel. So far, reports on its design, fit, and finish are encouraging. Henderson's biggest challenge is to find a way to change GM's thinking. Bankruptcy notwithstanding, there remains a tendency to explain away shortcomings. GM could use some outside talent, but so far it has found none. Henderson promises to recruit managers from other companies but says government restrictions on compensation have prevented him from doing so. GM's CEO won't like to hear it, but he could learn a thing or two from Alan Mulally, his competitor across town at Ford. Mulally has identified a clear vision of the future, gotten his managers behind it, and created a no-excuses culture. Ford executives today are dealing with the world as it is, not as they wish it would be. Can Henderson do it? Yes, he can. I have never met an executive who was better prepared for his job. But can GM do it? There, I'm not so sure. With a few exceptions, there haven't been enough signs of fresh thinking or new ways to convince me that the new GM is a winner. All the ingredients are there, but they have to be successfully mobilized for GM to succeed. For the sake of Detroit, all of America should hope that it does. /200909/85183

Amazon’s Kindle is a tech-industry miracle. That sounds over-the-top; it’s not.亚马逊(Amazon)的Kindle是科技行业的一个奇迹。这话听起来很夸张,其实不然。In 2007, when the company first unveiled its e-er, the device was an expensive ugly duckling whose future looked marginal at best. The first Kindle, which sold for 0 and was made by a company that had no track record in hardware, had a lot to overcome: the reluctance of the book industry to change its business model, the sentimentality of ers for the printed book, and its egregious industrial design, which looked like the product of the Soviet space program.2007年公司首次推出它的电子阅读器时,这款设备就是个昂贵的丑小鸭,前景显得微不足道。第一代Kindle售价为400美元(当时约合3000元人民币),出自一个毫无硬件制造背景的公司,并且面临重重困难:图书业不愿意改变其商业模式,读者对纸质书怀有依恋的情愫,而且产品设计很笨拙,看上去像是苏联太空计划的产物。Worst of all, the Kindle was a dedicated machine. Its only purpose was to let you books that you purchased from Amazon’s online store. In the age of smartphones and apps, when a single phone does just about everything, most dedicated devices have had a rough ride. Sales of snapshot cameras and digital have crashed because their functions were eaten by phones.最糟的是,Kindle是台专用的机器。它的唯一用处是让你阅读从亚马逊的网店购买来的书。在智能手机和应用的时代,一部手机是无所不能的,专门性的设备大多处境艰难。快拍相机和数码相机的销售遭遇灭顶之灾,就是因为它们的功能被手机取代了。But not the Kindle. Amazon’s e-er hasn’t merely survived, but thrived, thanks to a single-minded focus on the needs of obsessive ers. Each year Amazon slightly improved the Kindle’s prices, hardware and software, making it more competitive with print, and roiling the publishing industry in the process.但Kindle不一样。由于专注考虑重度阅读者的需求,亚马逊的电子阅读器不但活了下来,还发展得有声有色。亚马逊每年都会对Kindle的价格、硬件和软件做出改进,让它和纸质书相比更具竞争力,也让出版业陷入恐慌。Now, with its newest Kindle, the Voyage, Amazon is refining its e-er once more. The Voyage’s main trick is a high-resolution display that mimics the look of a printed page. Text on its screen appears at a resolution of 300 pixels an inch, which is on par with the high-resolution displays now found on most of our other mobile devices.现在亚马逊推出了Kindle的最新款Voyage,再一次对它的电子阅读器进行了改良。Voyage的主要卖点是模仿印刷纸面效果的高分辨率屏幕。这种屏幕上的文字是以每英寸300像素的分辨率显示的,与现在市面上多数移动设备的高分辨率屏幕可等量齐观。Compared with previous Kindles, text on the Kindle Voyage appears both sharper and in starker relief against the background. Graphics, like charts and graphs, look just as clear as they do in any black-and-white book.比起此前的Kindle,Kindle Voyage上的文字更清晰,和背景形成更鲜明的凸出效果。图表等图形看起来也更清晰了,就像在白底黑字的书上一样。The effect is beguiling. If you look at the new Kindle for any stretch of time, you don’t just forget that you’re ing an e-book; you forget that you’re using any kind of electronic device at all.这样的效果让人心旷神怡。捧着新款Kindle阅读,无论读多长时间,你都不会意识到自己是在读电子书,甚至都想不起自己是在用一台电子设备。Amazon says the Voyage offers a better approximation of print than has ever been available on an e-er, but for me, it’s far better than that. It offers the visual clarity of printed text with the flexibility of an electronic device.亚马逊说Voyage是有史以来和印刷品最接近的电子阅读器,但在我看来,它要比纸书好得多。它有印刷文字的视觉清晰度,又有电子设备的灵活性。Given that combination, the Voyage functions as something like the executioner of the trusty old hardcover. Until recently, there were only two remaining reasons to hang on to books — either you just couldn’t get on board with the way a Kindle page looked, or you were suspicious of Amazon’s power and larger motives in the publishing industry, and you saw the printed book as the only bulwark against its overreach.有了这两个因素的结合,Voyage在某种程度上就成了一个刽子手,我们忠心耿耿的精装书老朋友们将死在它的刀下。继续看纸书的理由,近年来已经只剩下两个——要么你无法接受Kindle里书页的样子,要么你对亚马逊的势力以及在出版业的布局持怀疑态度,你认为要想遏制它的过度扩张,纸书是唯一一道屏障。The first reason is now gone. The Voyage, which at 9 and up is Amazon’s most expensive Kindle, doesn’t look just like the printed page. Like other Kindles, it does things the printed page can’t do.第一个原因已经不存在了。Voyage的售价为199美元起,是目前亚马逊最贵的一款Kindle设备,它不只是做出了纸张印刷的视觉效果。和其他Kindle一样,它还能做纸书做不到的事。Reading a long tome (say the “Game of Thrones” series) and you want to keep track of the characters? X-Ray, a feature built into most Kindle books, shows you a handy pop-up guide of every person you encounter. Need to look up a word? Just tap on it. Want to flip back and forth between footnotes and the main text? It’s just a matter of tapping; ing David Foster Wallace’s “Infinite Jest” on a Kindle isn’t the workout it is in print.看一本大部头的时候(比如“权力的游戏”系列),想厘清人物的脉络?多数Kindle书里都有一个叫X-Ray的功能,通过一个很实用的弹出框来介绍你读到的每个人物。想要查某个单词?点一下就行。想在脚注和内文之间来回翻看?也是点按几下就可以的事;在Kindle上读大卫·福斯特·华莱士(David Foster Wallace)的《无尽的玩笑》(Infinite Jest),不用像读纸书那样顺便健身。The Voyage is Amazon’s thinnest Kindle, but I found that advantage to be of little significance; Amazon’s other recent Kindles have also been very thin.Voyage是亚马逊迄今最薄的一款Kindle,但我发现这个优势没那么明显;亚马逊近来推出的其他Kindle也很薄。The Voyage also includes a new way to turn pages built into the plastic border of the device, right under where you’d rest your thumbs while holding it. To turn, you slightly pinch with either thumb; on other Kindles, you had to lift your finger and tap the screen. (You can also turn that way on the Voyage.) I found this method to be also only slightly helpful, because turning pages on other Kindles really wasn’t much of a hassle to begin with.Voyage还引入了一种新的翻页方式,内置在设备的塑料边框里,也就是在夹持着设备的手指下。要翻页只需用手指轻轻捻一下;在其他的Kindle上,你得抬起手指触击屏幕。(在Voyage上也可以用这种方式翻页。)我发现这种方法只能说是略有益处,因为翻页在其他Kindle上本身也谈不上是个多大的麻烦。So the only real reason to chose the Voyage over the other Kindles — the Paperwhite, which goes for 9, and the entry-level er, which is but doesn’t have a light — is its high-contrast display. For me, the Voyage’s display justifies the price. If you often, you’ll want a high-quality screen, and this is one you’ll appreciate every single time you .那么要选Voyage而不是其他Kindle——比如售价119美元的Paperwhite,还有售价69美元、但是没有背光的入门级Kindle——理由就只剩下一个,它的高对比度屏幕。在我看来Voyage是配得上这个价格的。如果你阅读量很大,就需要一个高品质的屏幕,而这块屏幕,你每次用它都会注意到它的好处。 /201410/337341

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